Customer service problems

29 July 2009

Frustrated woman on phoneRating the customer service you receive is a matter of opinion and what one customer finds acceptable, another will not.

All companies should be striving to offer a good quality service to their customers and when a customer has a bad experience, the company should look to remedy this as quickly as they can.

Although there are no direct Ofcom regulations covering this part of a company's service, this is one of the most complained about issues and Ofcom is keen to monitor consumer experience.

What you can do

If you experience poor customer service, you should highlight this to the company concerned.

All communication providers are required to have a Code of Practice (CoP) on how they deal with customer complaints. Details of this should be available through their website or customer services.

If you follow their complaints procedure, the chances are any problems will be resolved.

If you exhaust this process and remain unhappy, or if your complaint has been ongoing for more than 8 weeks, you may be able to approach an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

At the moment Ofcom has approved two ADR schemes – CISAS and Ombudsman Services: Communications.

Your phone company will tell you which scheme it is a member of, or you can use our ADR checker.

This process is only available for residential and small business customers (with 10 or less employees); if you are a larger business, you will need to consider alternative options such as legal advice.

Watch our video guide to telecoms complaints

Tell us about your experience

Although it isn't Ofcom's role to handle customer service complaints, we still take a close interest in monitoring consumer experiences.

You can help us by filling in our consumer monitoring form